The Lights In Las Vegas Looking To Glow
As the longest serving American on this site, I figured a great way to end another year is talk about a new club, the Las Vegas Lights.
America has many areas, towns or cities that have a reputation going as far back as the creation of the place they are talking about. Since the founding of Las Vegas, it has always had a reputation of being flashy and operating against the norm. So when the United Soccer League (USL) created the Las Vegas Lights in August 2017, general manager Brett Lashbrook petitioned the Las Vegas City government to use Cashman Field as a venue for the expansion franchise. It was approved in July 2017 and the club kicked off this year.
The club was gimmicky from the start. They hired former Chivas USA and La Liga MX manager El Chelis to run the football side of the club. El Chelis is a showman on the sidelines. Many of his antics are borderline crazy, and he has been thrown out of many matches. In fact occasionally, after being thrown off the sideline, he has watched the rest of the match in the stands. That has never gone down well with the leagues or the clubs he has been with. In fact he didn’t stay much longer after getting a ban for fighting with a supporter. By the middle of September he left his post with the club.
El Chelis attempted to bring in all Mexican players, which could have worked. Mexico has a wealth of players, and in a lower league in the States they could have done some damage. However, the language barrier between some of the staff, the fans was too steep so American players were brought in.
Among them was former teenage prodigy Fredy Adu. His story is a sad one in the sport and there are plenty of articles out there for your reading. The club tried to do certain things to get the fans involved, like dropping money from a helicopter onto the pitch. The club also have Llamas as mascots.
The first official match was against Fresno which Las Vegas won 3-2 with Matt Thomas scoring two minutes in. The season was not that good for the club which was mostly down to being their debut in the league – winning eight matches and losing nineteen. They finished 15th which is fine as therer is no promotion or relegation.
Fredy Adu did not do much other than provided some excitement for the league like he did for his other clubs. This season, the club hope to improve so have hired former Atlanta Silverback and USA international Eric Wynalda as head coach.
Since this is the last article for the year, I want to thank everyone who has read each offering. Football in the America is not everyone’s cup of tea but I do know there is a fanbase overseas who love to read about random leagues around the world.
The American game is different, but fun.